The Comeback Trail

CBT01 : Helm, direttissimo!

Monday 22nd September 2008

This may not have been the longest ever BOOTboys walk. 

In fact it is probably the shortest.  But its significance is considerable.

Those who have followed BOOTboys for some time will know that John L was one of the early stalwarts but had to pack it in as his knee protested. 

A new knee was installed last year but sadly went horribly wrong as the joint was infected internally.  Earlier this year John went under the knife again for a replacement new knee.  Happily the second attempt has been successful and he has been building up strength in the gym. 


John in his dancing days: BB0506

This evening was the date for the knee's first rough and steep terrain test. Unfortunately the sunshine promised by the met office was stuck out over Barrow way so, although dry, there was not the prospect of a stunning sunset.

Sunshine out west

It was also a comeback of sorts for Stan, although comedown might be a more appropriate word in more than one sense.  He has spent the last two weeks on the world's largest cruise liner.  Not just, as you might think, wallowing in luxury, but also taking advantage of its remarkable sporting facilities including an artificial wave for surfing and a two hundred foot climbing wall on the outside of the vessel.  How Stan managed to tackle, succesfully, its most severe route when the ship was rocking on the high seas quite escapes me.  Respect!

So with Stan and me in support in case we had to carry John back, we parked on the A65 layby to tackle Helm, not by the gentle route but direttissimo.  John made excellent progress up the short but steep climb, reaching the top in 18 minutes.  We then followed the ridge along then down to the Station Inn arriving 43 minutes from the car.

Helm  direttissimo


Team picture on Helm

A couple of drinks later, it was dark as we made our way back along the Helm road, reaching the car in 20 minutes.

Maybe tomorrow will tell, but on tonightís evidence, excellent progress is being made and we look forward to John joining us on progressively more testing routes.

The lesson for other erstwhile BOOTboys is not to be put off by the longer and stiffer walks that we sometimes inflict on ourselves.  We will tailor the outing to the abilities of those participating.  Hopefully, others will now be encouraged to join us on Johnís comeback trail.  Let me know!

Don, 22nd September 2008




2.4 miles

Height climbed:

393 feet





E-mail addresses on this web site are protected by

 Spam Trawlers will be further frustrated by
 Spam Blocker: help fight spam e-mail!  



The Comback Trail

  • CBT01 : Helm, direttissimo
    Monday 22nd September
  • CBT02 : Cunswick Fell and back in the dark!
    Monday 29th September

Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large picture.


The Comeback Trail records the efforts of John in returning from one unsuccessful and one successful knee replacement, accompanied by others either providing Sherpa support or simply trying to regain their fitness with the possible intention of progressing to full BOOTboys status in due course!


BOOT boys

Home Page








BOOTboys is loose group of friends of mature years who enjoy defying the aging process by getting out into the hills as often as possible!

As most live in South Lakeland, it is no surprise that our focus is on the Lakeland fells and the Yorkshire Dales.

As for the name, BOOTboys, it does not primarily derive from an item of footwear but is in memory of Big Josie, the erstwhile landlady of the erstwhile Burnmoor Inn at Boot in Eskdale, who enlivened Saint Patrick's Day 1973 and other odd evenings many years ago!

If you want to contact us, click on